Just as we can suffer terrible consequences if we are doing something but not paying full attention, the author reminds of the severe consequences we will experience in life if we do not hear and heed God’s voice (Hebrews 2:2).The recipients are called upon to recall the rich history of the Old Testament and reminded that every time God’s people didn’t pay attention to God it went very bad for them. Acknowledging God brings blessing but ignoring Him will be burdensome for us.
So, in Hebrews 2:3 the author asks this question, “how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” In short, we will not escape. The same pain that the people of God suffered in the past will be felt by us today if we disregard our God! I want us to notice a key word here in this verse. It’s the word “neglect.” One can immediately see the correlation between neglecting in verse 3 and drifting in verse 1. Neither word conveys the idea of turning one’s back on someone or something or overly renouncing what one once held to. No, neglect simply conveys the idea of carelessness or lack of proper concern. Like drifting, it is usually very unintentional in nature. However, an important parallel does exist between the notion of attention and affection. So, let’s attempt to tie this together at this point.
Navigating life in general, but especially finding our way through times of adversity, requires our utmost attention be placed upon God and our relations with Him. This attention given to God should never be motivated by duty or obligation but inspired by our love for Him. That’s where our affection comes into play. What truly has captured our affection will receive our attention. The one flows out of the other and is complemented by it. That’s why the greatest command isn’t to pay attention to God, but to “love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27). When our hearts are captivated by God, He will be given our utmost attention. It is sobering to read many places in the Bible where one’s love for God is not important. Paul tells Timothy that in the last days people will love pleasure rather than love God (2 Timothy 3:4). “These people honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me: (Matthew 15:8). “But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love” (Revelation 2:4). Once our heart has come to be satisfied in God, our attention upon Him will follow.
I have found through times of adversity in my own life that when God was all I had; God was all that I needed. Open your heart in love to Him today. There is no greater love than His love for us! Receive it!